‘WE RE­MOVED 9 POL­ICY BOT­TLE­NECKS TO HELP RAISE OIL & GAS PRO­DUC­TION’

Resource Digest - - RESOURCE DIGEST -

The fo­cus on pro­vid­ing clean fuel to poor does not di­lute the gov­ern­ment's at­ten­tion on other ar­eas of in­dus­try, oil min­is­ter Dhar­men­dra Prad­han said. One of the Naren­dra Modi gov­ern­ment's aims has been to change the oil min­istry's pub­lic per­cep­tion from be­ing an eco­nomic to a so­cial sec­tor de­part­ment. How much of this has been achieved?

I would like to rewind the PM'S first speech in the Cen­tral Hall (of Par­lia­ment) that made his gov­ern­ment's pri­or­i­ties clear: Pro-poor, pro-women and pro-youth. It is not a ques­tion of merely chang­ing pub­lic per­cep­tion of one min­istry . It is an is­sue of the di­rec­tion taken by the gov­ern­ment.

Where does Ujjwala scheme pro­vid­ing free LPG con­nec­tions to poor fit into the makeover plans for the min­istry? Given the op­po­si­tion's claim about repack­ag­ing old schemes, is LPG the new tool for po­lit­i­cal out­reach?

LPG ser­vice started in In­dia in 1955. Till 2014, there were only 14 crore ac­tive LPG con­sumer fam­i­lies. In the last twoand-a half years, we have added four crore fam­i­lies. The gov­ern­ment for the first time has taken re­spon­si­bil­ity up front to give LPG to five crore BPL fam­i­lies through Ujjwala. This is what we have al­ready done.

The fo­cus on LPG ap­pears to have di­luted the cen­tre's at­ten­tion to other ar­eas of the do­mes­tic oil in­dus­try?

PM Modi has brought about a fun­da­men­tal change in the oil sec­tor by bring­ing trans­parency. Not a sin­gle de­ci­sion taken by the min­istry in the last two-and-a-half years has been ques­tioned by the peo­ple. Ear­lier, the thrust would be on slash­ing sub­sidy. We re­duced the bound­ary of sub­sidy by tar­get­ing it to­wards poor, not by cut­ting it. Based on ex­pe­ri­ence and rec­om­men­da­tions of CAG and PAC, we gave mar­ket­ing and pric­ing free­dom in new block auc­tion pol­icy, giv­ing pri­or­ity to com­pe­ti­tion. We re­moved nine pol­icy bot­tle­necks to help raise do­mes­tic pro­duc­tion. There is thrust on bring­ing gas-based econ­omy. ‘Make in In­dia’ is on pri­or­ity to cre­ate more jobs.

HON'BLE PRIME MIN­IS­TER, NAREN­DRA MODI HAND­ING OVER LPG CON­NEC­TION TO A BEN­E­FI­CIARY FROM BPL FAM­ILY

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